CHAIRMANS LETTER

I still find it hard to believe that we have been going since October 1977. Our first meeting in the Grammar School hall was chaired by Paul Gale, with Mary Larrett as Secretary and Frank Freeman as Treasurer. Around 600 people turned up, which was a bit of a squeeze to say the least! The Mayor of Enfield dignified the cramped occasion.

From the outset we had in place, thanks to Mary’s foresight and Peggy Jones’ organisational skills, a programme of speakers and outings. In that first year, we went to Cliveden, Claydon, Sissinghurst and Bodiam Castle. Also we had a weekend break at ‘The Rose and Crown’, Tonbridge, with visits from there to Chartwell, Batemans and Quebec House. All at cost of £25, including dinner, bed and breakfast and lunch for two days. Seems impossible nowadays, but that’s inflation for you! 

Three years later our membership had increased to over a thousand. As quite a few were living in and around Barnet, the Barnet Association was then formed. Over the years we have had many and varied outings and events, too numerous to mention, and if you talk to any of the long standing members they will all fondly recall their own favourites. 40 Years on, (good title for a play, Alan Bennett), we are still here. The winning formula had been set by our founders and it still serves us well to this day.  

I have mentioned previously that we are losing some of our committee members. Starting with Jenny Mottram, who has been our Secretary and Outings organiser. We thank her for her commitment to ENTA over the years. We are pleased to report that we have found two replacements: Lorraine Hawkins has kindly volunteered to join us as coach outings organiser, and from what we’ve heard, Lorraine has some exciting ideas, the first being a visit to ING Bank for their art collection; Wendy Knowles has volunteered to be London outings organiser. Audrey Whale has decided to leave us as evening and afternoon programmes Secretary. Audrey has also been in position for a good number of years and we give her our heartfelt thanks for being such an able ‘speaker finder’. At present, we don’t have a replacement. This is not an ideal state of affairs as without speakers, we do not have meetings, and without meetings then… If you feel that you could help us in this very important role, then please contact either myself or Pam Moore, Secretary. We could even split the position into two – afternoon speakers only and evening speakers only. Please give it some thought.

Thirdly, we are losing Adrian Saull who has been supplying our sound system for well over 15 years. Special thanks to Adrian, not only for his commitment, but also he recently donated a radio microphone!

A reminder that on the weekend of 16th -17th September it is Open House London. We don’t have anything organised specifically for this, although it makes for a very interesting weekend. For further information visit: www.openhouselondon.open-city.org.uk

Kind regards,

Graham